Chapter 3 part 1
“How can they do this to us? How can this happen? Do we really have to leave this place and wait until they find proof?”
Even after the day ended and night fell, Manager Do circled the store and whined.
“As the staff advised earlier, let’s visit Secretary Cha next month.”
Joo Hee, who was getting tired of giving the same answer several times, repeated her answer.
If she could explain her situation to Secretary Cha that she had no other option but to leave her house if the lease gets terminated, he might understand and help her.
However, when she thought about going back to Hansung after whatever happened to them in the lobby, she was not comfortable.
It was too much.
Especially when she saw Seok running in front of everyone as if he was running for his life.
What would have happened to Seok if they caught him?
Joo Hee felt dizzy even thinking about that dangerous situation.
Whenever she remembered the scene in the lobby, a face flashed in her mind, which left her embarrassed all afternoon.
“How can we wait until then? Let’s visit Chairman Park’s house instead. That brat named Park Shin Woo must be living in that house named Hyunwawon. Let me get a taxi right away.”
Joo Hee quickly erased the face of the man who had been bugging her mind when she heard Manager Do say something related to Hyunwawon.
“Manager Do, didn’t you hear from grandfather what kind of place Hyunwawon is? It is not a house, but a palace with dozens of employees and bodyguards. There’s no way they will open the gate for people like us.”
“But at least, we should go there and…”
“Please, stop it. Even if we go to Hyunwawon, there is no guarantee that we will meet him. Aren’t you tired, Manager Do? I’m tired to death.”
Joo Hee asked in a tired tone. She felt both mentally and physically exhausted due to the embarrassing things she had experienced ever since she reincarnated as a human being.
“Are you tired to the point where it is hard to take a taxi?”
Manager Do looked at her and asked as if he still couldn’t abandon the idea of going to Chairman Park’s house.
However, this time Joo Hee answered more clearly and harshly.
“Yes. It’s hard to go for a long ride at this time.”
“If my master is too tired to ride a taxi, then I have to look for another method,” He paused for a moment when an idea popped up in his head, “It’s been a while, so I’m not sure if it will work out.”
Even though he was very disappointed by Joo Hee’s rejection, Manager Do continued to walk around the kitchen pantry, frowning and muttering to himself.
“Don’t worry too much about the contract, Manager Do. I will somehow find out its details. After all, we still have some time to settle everything. But I’m sorry, nothing is going to happen today. Both of us are tired, and it would be better to close the store early and rest.”
Joo Hee tried to calm down Manager Do, who seemed worried too much about the termination of the lease.
She sighed and stood up from the seat, hoping to end this hard day as soon as possible.
“I’ll close the store, Master. Please sit down.”
Watching Joo Hee walking towards the door, Manager Do stopped her and locked the store’s door instead of her.
He even pulled the shutter down and the blinds of the store.
The building where Lee family books were situated, the house where Joo Hee and her father lived, and the outhouse where Manager Do lived, all three buildings were connected by a central yard.
Still, the Manager used to leave the store and enter the outhouse through the next gate, to eliminate the outsider’s doubts regarding his human identity. However, today, even Manager Do seemed very tired and decided to use the yard to go to the outhouse.
“Click!” The store lights went out, too.
Joo Hee slowly rose from the chair and dragged her tired body in the direction of her house.
“I’m a little bad at directions, so I’m not confident, but anyway, this must be the fastest way possible. So, let’s go.”
With the sound of snapping of fingers, a quick flash of goblin light illuminated the dark store.
Upon hearing Manager Do’s random words, Joo Hee, who had rarely seen goblin fire, stood dumbfounded as she failed to react to the absurd situation happening before her eyes.
“Seok, protect the house well. We will be right back.”
Manager Do spoke to Seok, who had just raised his head. At that moment, Joo Hee’s body got suddenly dragged into the pantry in a gust of wind.
“What are you doing?”
Manager Do whipped open the warehouse door he had never opened and vanished into the goblin fire with no delay.
Oh my god!
Joo Hee wanted to scream, but unfortunately, her voice got trapped inside her throat.
Only after hearing the heavy sound that differed from Manager Do’s usual voice, did Joo Hee realise that she had entered the rough road of goblins.
It was a rough road, something different from the medium in which gods used to travel.
At that moment, Joo Hee felt sick, as if she was about to vomit all the food she had in the evening.
As soon as Shin Woo entered the study room in the house, his eyes fell on Secretary Cha who was waiting for him.
“It’s late, why didn’t you go home?”
He had asked to find out whatever happened in the office today. It was something trivial to report, but it seems like Secretary Cha stayed late to talk about the matter.
“I was about to go home, CEO Park. As you have asked earlier, I have gathered the information and left it on your desk.”
Of course, Secretary Cha never disappoints.
Shin Woo looked at the man with a faint smile.
Just like his grandfather, Secretary Cha was also a workaholic.
Though he was a bit worried about the old man’s health, Shin Woo had no choice but to keep Secretary Cha as the chief of staff since he had never seen an efficient worker who was too good at keeping secrets.
Even though Shin Woo just came out of the bathroom after taking a shower, he directly headed to his desk without caring about the water drops falling from his wet hair.
“Should I turn on the heater?”
Secretary Cha asked his boss, who leaned on to the edge of the desk, wearing a loosely tied long robe.
The small gap in the loose robe revealed Shin Woo’s muscular chest, which was still wet from the recent shower.
“It’s not cold, but it would be better to turn on the heating.” Shin Woo instructed.
The temperature didn’t affect him at all. However, since it was the beginning of November and the temperature would drop further in the night, Secretary Cha might be cold.
Hearing his words, Secretary Cha nodded and suddenly remembered the driver and employees who had already gone home after their shift.
“Are you going to let Hyunwawon employees work like this in the future? Isn’t it uncomfortable to stay here alone, especially in the evening?”
“It will be more uncomfortable if unnecessary people come and go. You have already deployed enough bodyguards to guard the house, that’s enough.”
When his grandfather was alive, Shin Woo let the staff live in Hyunwawon, but now that Chairman Park was gone, he preferred to be alone.
“We will keep the number of guards as they are. But the kitchen staff are worried that you are not eating properly these days. Are you sure that you are okay? How about getting a medical checkup?”
“You’re worried for no reason, Secretary Cha. As you can see, I’m healthy and completely fit. Is this report about the research institute for cultural properties?”
Shin Woo swiftly tried to change the topic. Recently, Secretary Cha seemed to have inherited his grandfather’s worries and concerns.
He never disliked it since he knew that Secretary Cha was simply looking after him.
“Yes. That’s all we have at the moment. I’m sure that the Chairman had left a lot of room for new ideas and changes.”
“It seems like a huge amount of money has been poured into this project so far, and you want me to attract twice the investment?”
Shin Woo asked while going through the report that had the name of the research institute and a unique logo on the front page.
“Yes. I will report the rest of the details as soon as I gather them. Also, the legal notice of the Lee family books that I mentioned earlier was sent by lawyer Hwang. While organising the Chairman’s personal asset list, he found an absurd contract and took care of it. I couldn’t tell you earlier, but ‘Lee family books’ is…”
Secretary Cha abruptly paused in mid-sentence and hesitated to continue when he saw Shin Woo’s face.
“Was it the store ran by grandpa’s friend? The person who made grandpa lock himself in his room and mourn for a week, two years ago?
“Yes. Since then, his granddaughter has been running Lee family books as it is. The Chairman has always taken extra care of the store and the girl.”
Even though Shin Woo never visited Lee family books, he knew the place from where his grandfather bought a lot of old books that he rarely read.
When he realised that the pretty woman in the lobby was related to Lee family books, he suddenly understood the reason for his grandfather’s interest in books.
“I know, whenever grandpa comes late from work, he always brings a package of books home. Even three days before he passed away, he brought a pile of books. By the way, where is the original contract?”
“The Chairman must have kept it separately in the safe.”
“I see. I’ll take a look at the contract, so please go home now.”
“I…I will leave, then.” Even though Secretary Cha agreed, he seemed hesitant to leave as if he was worried about the contract and his boss.
“You don’t have to worry, Secretary Cha. I don’t intend to change the contract signed by my grandfather himself unless something unusual happens. So, please feel free to go home.”
Shin Woo clearly understood the reason for Secretary Cha’s anxiety and had no intention to turn a blind eye as he reassured the worried man.
“Thank you, rest well.”
Hearing his words, Secretary Cha appeared delighted as if it was his own business. His dark complexion quickly brightened up, and he even repeatedly thanked his boss before stepping out of the room.
“How can someone not like him?”
Shin Woo, who was staring at the closed door for a long time even after Secretary Cha left, commented with a smile.
Suddenly, the memory of the woman in the lobby flashed in his mind.
He threw the report he held onto the desk and quickly went to the safe that was kept in the room.
Beep beep beep beep, He pressed the password.
As soon as the safe door was opened, Shin Woo couldn’t help but pause what he was doing.
In a flash, his eyes turned into abyss-like darkness.
After staring at the safe for a long time, Shin Woo indifferently reached out his hand and took something from it.
It was clothes.
The clothes he wore on the day when he first met his grandfather.
“I’m going to burn it.”
Shin Woo, who looked at his clothes with no emotion, pushed his clothes back into the safe and began to search for the contract.
“Is it this?”
He picked up the contract from the safe and went through it.
Since most of the contracts were with Lawyer Hwang, he knew that there was some special reason for his grandpa to keep the contract with the name Lee Joo Hee of Lee family books in this house.
“For the rest of your life? Ha, cute.”
While looking at the ridiculous contract period, Shin Woo smiled without realising it.
All of sudden, his eyes fell on another piece of paper that was kept with the contract and opened it up.
“Contract for a blind date? This is…….”
He clearly remembered that his grandfather was chasing him for three days and tormenting him to go on a blind date before he passed away.
He even remembered the sulking face of his grandfather, asking him to meet the girl at least once.
“Now that I think about it, I made a promise to meet you.”
He muttered as he recalled the promise that he had made with his grandfather while he agreed to take over the Hansung group as the CEO.
“Lee Joo Hee.”
The face which he had only seen once, appeared more clearly in his mind when he read out the name written on the contract along with his grandfather’s.
At that moment, Shin Woo felt that he heard a loud thud and a sinking sound somewhere in the house.
He quickly turned his head and figured out the sound came from a small warehouse right next to the study. At that moment, the warehouse door swung open, and something fell before him.
“Oh my god!
A man he had never seen before was screaming and rolling on the floor.
Unable to understand what was happening, Shin Woo squinted his eyes at the unexpected intruder.
Immediately after the man, someone else rolled down with a bright light.
It was a woman whose face had turned blue in fear.
At the sight of the falling woman, Shin Woo instinctively moved and stretched his arms out without any delay.
He tightly hugged her body so that she wouldn’t fall hard on the floor.
Lee Joo Hee!
Even before he could wonder why this woman was coming out of the warehouse, Shin Woo sensed the soft touch of the woman leaning her head against his bare chest, and it struck his mind quite heavily.
Even though nothing else fell in the study, Shin Woo heard a sudden thud, a sound of something sinking in his pounding heart.
“Ouch! See, this is why I don’t use this road. Oh man, I almost died. By the way, where are we now? Did we come to Hyunwawon? Huh, who are you?”
Shin Woo woke up from his dazed state when he heard someone blabbering and squinted his eyes at the noisy man.
It was a man in his late thirties.
Despite his sharp eyes, the man was asking a ridiculous question.
“I don’t know why you are looking for Hyunwawon, but I don’t think you are lost. This place where you are standing is the heart of Hyunwawon.”
“Really? Did I fix my dark road, then? It’s my first time coming like this…… Oh my god!
Shin Woo thought that the intruder was crazy when he saw the man smiling, without paying any attention to his surroundings.
Until the crazy stranger called the woman, whom he held in his arms, “Master.”
Without any second thought, the man rushed towards his master to release her from his arms.
Shin Woo didn’t know what happened to him, but his body strangely reacted on its own and dodged away from the stranger’s reach.
His body might have acted on reflex, but Shin Woo couldn’t figure out why he raised his leg and kicked the man away.
“Huh!” The low groan of the woman entered his ear louder than the scream of the falling man which made Shin Woo look indifferently at the woman who was lying inside his arms.
Her body seemed so soft and petite.
He never thought that she would be this small when he saw her from a distance in the lobby, but right now, she seemed to be a small petite woman who perfectly fit into his single arm.
For some reason, Shin Woo loosened his tight grip over the woman in fear that he might crush her if he put a little more force on her frail body.
The woman’s long eyelashes that left a shadow on her soft cheeks faintly shivered and pulled open to reveal a pair of coal-black eyes.
Shin Woo could see his face clearly reflected in the eyes of the woman who blinked several times.
The moment she realised the truth, her clear eyes widened in shock, and she hurriedly tried to get out of his arms.
“Oh..sorry… I’m really sorry….”
Joo Hee struggled to get out of his arms with a reddened face in embarrassment.
However, on the other hand, Shin Woo tightly grabbed her as if he never wanted to let her go.
“Hey! Are you okay?”
The man who fell on the ground stood up and finally asked his master.
The study door swung open with a loud noise, and the bodyguard Eungsan rushed in with no delay.
“CEO! Are you okay? Just now, I heard a strange…… You!”
Eungsan, who looked at Shinwoo, frowned when his eyes fell on Manager Do, who was right in front of him.
“Gasp! Why are you..oops!”
Manager Do, who pointed his finger at Eungsan with a surprised look, quickly regained his bearings and covered his mouth.
“I think they seem like intruders. What should I do?”
“Yes, they are. But let me talk to this person here, and I would appreciate it if you could take the noisy guy out for a while.” Shin Woo ordered without any delay.
“Will that be okay?” Eungsan carefully looked at the woman in Shin Woo’s arms and asked.
“Why? Does this person look dangerous, too?” Shin Woo retorted in an aloof voice.
“No, no…I’ll be outside. Call me whenever you need me.”
Noticing the seriousness in his boss’s voice, Eungsan took a step aside and held the man who remained like a statue with his mouth covered.
As soon as Eungsan went out with Manager Do, an awkward silence filled inside the study room.
“Let’s talk, Miss Lee Joo Hee.”
Shin Woo suggested to the woman who was still in shock.
Joo Hee couldn’t believe that he was the same handsome man whom she met in the lobby in the afternoon.
Combining the words, ‘Hyunwawon’ and ‘CEO’ that she vaguely heard in a half-dazed state, it took a moment for Joo Hee to realise this man must be Park Shin-woo, whom she was supposed to meet.
But this was the worst meeting ever.
How did she end up like this?
The first meeting with the owner of her building turned out to be an embarrassing experience as she hit her head on his bare chest through his loosely hung robes.
It was weirder to stay sane in such a moment.
Before Manager Do brought her here, she wished to tear up the contract she wrote before and get out of the crisis at any cost.
But not in her wildest nightmares did Joo Hee expect herself to get into an even bigger crisis with no way out.